As the school year comes to a close, a woman who has cared for and assisted students across campus prepares for the end of a fulfilling career as well as a beginning to a new life.
Executive Director of Student Support Services Barbara Carraway is retiring after 35 years at Bradley.
In her time spent at Bradley, Carraway worked at an office where she said students could come with a problem whether it was an illness, death in the family or they were not sure how or where to start.
Carraway said her favorite part of her job has been the students.
“When I leave the office that everyday, [I’ve hope I’ve] done something to make a difference for someone and made their navigation through a problem or procedure a little easier and a little more bearable for them,” she said.
In the search for a new director, Carraway said there are three words in the job description which are care, compassion and concern.
“I think that’s kind of what this office of student support services exemplifies,” she said.
With previous plans of retiring a year prior, Carraway was asked to stay longer.
“I never left. We made the announcement, I got the watch, I got the article in The Scout that I was retiring and then because we were anticipating some transitioning here at the university, I had been asked if I would stay on,” she said.
A search had been done to fill her position and because no one could fill it, she was asked to stay for the summer. She decided to stay for the whole year, choosing to retire at the end of the school year.
Starting out as a counselor in the counseling center, she transitioned to another position where she spent the majority of her time at Bradley.
“For 25 years, I was the director of residential living and worked with staff and students in the residence halls,” she said.
Overall, Carraway said she enjoyed watching her students grow.
“Looking at Facebook now and seeing all of these students I have known over the years, it’s just really neat to have a part of their life when they were at Bradley,” she said.
Carraway said she considers herself to be very fortunate to have enjoyed her job.
“When I get up in the morning, I want to come to work,” she said. “I love what I do. I like the people I work with,” she said.
As for her future after Bradley, Carraway said she has many plans.
“I’ve always traveled, but I’m going to continue to travel,” she said. \
Carraway said she plans to travel, volunteer and even teach a section of EHS 120 next fall.
“Plus, I have grandkids, one great-grandson and I have a great-granddaughter who is to be born in August.”
On her feelings of leaving campus, Carraway described it as bittersweet.
“It’s been wonderful. Ed King, who had been at the university for years and years, was my boss and is still quite involved as an alum said, ‘Barbara, there are things that you can do in your 70s that you’re not going to be able to do in your 80s. So, looking at that, there are still a lot of things I want to do yet,” she said.